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Dream: Cyclopean skyline and gelatin seas

This morning I had one of the strangest and most powerful dreams I've ever had. I was inside a huge building where lots of other people were. Some of them and myself wanted to leave the building and quickly determined that the only way was on the ground floor. So we walked and walked and walked through the building, following endless stairs, passing eateries and other establishments within the building as we tried to go downstairs and out.

We soon realized that at the bottom of some stairways were other stairs going up again, and sometimes no stairs at all. We would then have to backtrack and go back to the previous landing and look for another way out. On the way, many times we passed long stretches on the western side of the building that were open to the air and the sky with lots of ornamental plants on the low walls between the edges of these open ways and the sky -- and the ocean. Looking up, in places where the walls of the building above the roofs over these open ways were stepped well back from the roof, we could endless vistas of tall Cyclopean towers and stretches of apartments and shops thrusting high into the sky, all part of this same building. The building's walls were adobe plastered with adobe-colored material, and the roofs were made of those red curved tiles that make up the roofs of buildings made from Spanish-style architecture. And behind that awesome eastern skyline of towers upon towers upon towers reaching well over 200 stories in the air there were far higher mountains, some much higher than Everest, in spite of the glorious late spring day so dark they seemed to swallow the light, black as anthracite coal. And above them stars twinkled in that otherwise gorgeous midmorning sky.

The ocean beside the western edge of the building was so deep and rich a blue it seemed almost black. It comprised huge heaving waves, some of them hundreds of feet behind the next large waves. The hot, bright Sun was high in the sky, and its light danced off those waves in radiant clusters of photonic pearls and glints and rivers of silver and gold. But there were no whitecaps, and the ocean's waves moved almost sluggishly, as if that ocean were made of dilute gelatin. There was a high wall many stories tall that separated the waters of the ocean from the building; high as they were, they seemed disturbingly inadequate because of the height of those slowly moving waves, some of which were as much as an eighth of a kilometer across the base and up to twice that height from the average height of the ocean. We could have jumped into that ocean and swum over to the land and gotten out that way, but there was a genera reluctance about doing so -- those waters looked so strange, the slow-moving waves so powerful, and anything could have been lurking in those oceanic waters.

And so down and down we went, knowing there was a parking lot just outside the bottom floor, where the cars of visitors to it were parked. If we could reach that, we could escape for good. Most of us had, after originally entering the building, gotten so taken up with sightseeing that we never thought of taking note of the ways we entered the building or where we had gone within it. So we had to deduce how to get out and undergo a torturously long journey to arrive there.

Finally we did. We went through that last door out onto the brightly sunlit parking lot and looked around to see where we were. What we saw was a road stretching die-straight due east from the parking lot, passing through a high-arched, open stone gateway and on out due east as far as we could see. The road lay between two ranges of rather high hills covered with the sort of plants common as landscaping by Southern California freeways. When I awoke, I wondered whether, if I had slept longer, the dream would have segued into one of those dreams in which I and a number of other people were endlessly walking along the verge of freeways, sometimes braving the possibility of being creamed by a vehicle as we tried to use underpasses to go from one freeway to another or to reach places where we could find off ramps that would get us into the suburbs, where we could ret and maybe get something to eat.

But the dream as it was was nightmarish enough. No monsters but imagined ones, no dangerous people, just endless walking in a building as large as a city, trying to find a way out.The sky was a brilliant turquoise, the day was brightly lit by the Sun high in the sky, nothing attacked us, BUT. Somehow it reminded me of H. P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands, beautiful and strange and hitting at hidden menaces . . .

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Yael Dragwyla

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